Did anyone suffer from depression or PTSD once leaving religion and deciding God wasn't real?
I grew up as a presbyterian - was a fanatic as a teen as I was trying understand my dysfunctional family's behaviors/government/society's behavior, etc. Kept noticing the contradictions and got into many arguments with a lot of people through out the years. Took some Philosophy of Religion classed and met a lot of agnostics/atheists along the way. When I finally dropped religion in my 30's - I went into a panic mode because I was so used to praying to god. It took me several years to get used to not praying. Finally over the years, I noticed some conflicting information and switched to Scientific Pantheist. Felt much better once I embraced this as it validated my inner promptings/observation of life. It is a real "loss" of identity & "support system" and it's confusing and scary for some people with a dramatic change of "lifestyle" or mentality. I felt very alone. I wasn't depressed but panicky as I felt I lost a "friend" but learned I need a compassionate living breathing sane human friends for real moral support.
I was never really part of any religion, moving around the world I had different religious majorities surrounding me.. but there has been times I couldn’t help but wonder “would I be accepted more by the society if I was part of a religious group? Would I be less lonely?” Not the fact that -I no longer had the help/healing of prayers-.. I mean I’ve been getting shit done on my own as long as I can remember, I never feel the absence of an invisible helper but at times I feel like I’m discriminated because I don’t hide my identity, and the fact people who were once surrounding me would vanish after they “find out” does hurt every now and then.
The hardest part about leaving religion is that humans are social animals that evolved in groups for safety and security. Leaving a group, or losing your place in a group is a major life change and goes against our animal instincts to stay with the group.
Thus, most of your depression can be lifted by findign another group where you are welcome and accepted for who you are. Or, you could go on and boild a life where you are atonomous and dont' need others to fee secure. That takes much longer and a lot more effort.
For quick fixes, to fulfill social needs, in group interactions, meetup.com is a place tolook for people with similar interests, including agnostic/atheist groups.
Anyway, it is important to identify that your depression is is mostly caused by your loss of place within the group you left. Once you know the problemit is easier to find a workable solution to remedy the problem.
my apologies for the choppy word salad from using voice recognition and lazy post editing while driving.
It's completely natural for us to become saddened and even depressed when discovering new things and being unable to socialize or have our friends and family relate our new learning curve.
After decades of research and new discoveries I still find myself saddened by being unable to relate the others the joys of new insights and discovery
The emotional and psychological discomfort and pain legitimately feel the way through cognitive dissonance making our Exodus from faith mythical thinking to logic and reason quite real sometime very profound.
But it should not be confused with PTSD or clinical depression as they are rooted in different causes.
Education and understanding of new things created by the synapses in our brain are like muscles that we have never exercise and are similar can feeling the same pains after work the reaping the healthy benefits in the long run.
But you must be of good cheer for they're Millions around here and ever increasing numbers in our country that are making the same Exodus from imaginary thinking to critical thinking, reason and discovering the awe of seeing this world for what it is and being free from unethical and immoral fears unjustified by those who wish to use myths and legends to control you
No, I have not felt that. It dose not have to be "all or nothing" or "black or white". I have felt a spiritual connection since I was a little girl and never really conformed or felt any kind of commitment to religion. I have had near death experiences and out of body experiences, so yes i believe in an after life of sorts.
I didn't at first, but I'm going through some depression related to it now. I never realized how much comfort and security I received from believing that there was some grand plan to the universe, and that everything happened for a reason. When bad things happened, I found comfort in thinking that it was because I was being saved for something better. As I slowly walk away from my beliefs, this is one of the last ones to linger. It only lingers because I am afraid...I know this. However, knowing, and grokking, are two very different things. That's one of the reasons I joined this community, actually. I'm learning a lot from those of you who have gone through this before, and it's helping me.
I will claim a depression following leaving the temple. My religion did me no harm; in fact it gave me the tools to leave it. My sadness was born of losing my community, my identity, all the traditions that I loved. Over 30 years later I can still feel that ache of loss on occasion.
Never going back. Not an option.